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Breath Easier With Soy Isoflavones

Improved respiration and air flow in the lungs were recently added to the list of health benefits from soy isoflavones.

A study was done at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago and results were reported in the January 2008 issue of the journal Clinical Experimental Allergy.

Genistein, a soy isoflavone, was given to subjects with mild to moderate cases of persistent asthma for a period of four weeks. Afterwards, cells collected from study participants were found to have one-third less leukotrienes as compared to levels before taking the isoflavones. Inflammation causing leukotrienes can trigger asthma symptoms.

In addition, there was a 17% decrease in the amount of nitric oxide (FENO) exhaled, reflecting a lower level of inflammation in the airways.

Isoflavones are estrogen-like substances found in some plants. They are strong antioxidants which prior studies indicate provide heart and bone health benefits. They are widely used by pre and post-menopausal women who face a higher incidence of heart disease and osteoporosis. As well, soy isoflavones are a natural alternative to hormone replacement drugs to help control symptoms of menopause.

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